This City in  North Dakota Was Crowned the State’s Drug-crime Capital!


North Dakota is known for its stunning natural beauty, thriving agricultural economy, and low population density. However, the state confronts significant issues with drug trafficking and misuse, particularly in one of its major cities, Fargo.

Fargo: A Hub for Drug Activity

Fargo is North Dakota’s most populated city, with an estimated 126,748 people as of 2021. It is located on Minnesota’s border, along the Red River of the North. Fargo is also the crossroads of two major interstates, I-29 and I-94, which connect the city to Canada, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

These qualities make Fargo an appealing destination for drug traffickers and distributors, who employ a variety of methods to carry narcotics into and through the city, including private automobiles, package delivery services, tractor-trailers, rail services, and airplanes.

According to the FBI’s 2020 Crime In The United States Report, Fargo has the highest rates of violent and property crimes of any city in North Dakota. The data also indicates that Fargo had 658 drug arrests in 2020, accounting for 36.6% of all drug arrests in the state. Fargo’s drug arrest rate was 5.2 per 1,000 population, more than double the state average of 2.4. Fargo’s crime per square mile rate was more than six times the North Dakota norm.

The Impact of Drug Crime in Fargo and Beyond

Fargo’s drug crime problem has major ramifications for both the city and the state. Drug misuse and addiction may cause physical, social, and financial difficulties for people, families, and communities.

Drug-related violence and property destruction can have an impact on the safety and quality of life of both residents and tourists. Furthermore, drug trafficking and distribution can lead to the participation of other illegal activities, including money laundering, arms trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism.

Fargo’s drug crime issue impacts surrounding states and nations, particularly Minnesota and Canada. Drug traffickers and distributors frequently utilize Fargo as a stopover or source of supply for their activities in other places.

For example, in 2019, a narcotics bust in Fargo resulted in the recovery of 170 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,000 fentanyl tablets, and four weapons bound for Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 2018, a Canadian man was detained in Fargo for allegedly smuggling 30 pounds of methamphetamine across the border.

What Can Be Done to Address Fargo’s Drug Crime Problem?

Fargo’s drug crime problem is difficult to tackle since it involves some causes and individuals at many levels. However, some potential measures that may be made to alleviate the issue are:

  • Increasing collaboration and coordination among law enforcement agencies at the local, state, federal, and international levels to exchange intelligence, resources, and methods for disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking and distribution networks.
  • Making drug prevention, treatment, and recovery programs more available and accessible to people and families impacted by drug misuse and addiction, to minimize drug demand and damage.
  • Raising public awareness and education on the risks and effects of drug use, particularly among children, to prevent the commencement and advancement of drug usage and addiction.
  • Advancing and implementing evidence-based policies and initiatives that address the underlying causes and risk factors of drug criminality, such as poverty, unemployment, mental health, and social isolation.


Fargo, North Dakota, presents a significant difficulty in terms of drug trafficking and usage, which affects both the city and its surrounding areas. With a high percentage of drug arrests and crime, Fargo is an important trafficking hub.

To address this issue, comprehensive measures must be made, including increased law enforcement coordination, accessible prevention and treatment programs, public education, and evidence-based laws that target core causes to reduce drug use and safeguard communities.

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